News in Brief

EnterpriseDB Throws Down PostgreSQL Gauntlet

Aug 29, 2014 |

A new database development environment released earlier this month has been tweaked to leverage the NoSQL capabilities in PostgreSQL, the open source object-relational database tool, to build next-generation web applications. EnterpriseDB, the Postgres specialist based in Bedford, Mass., said its Postgres Extended Datatype Development Kit would allow application developers to use Postgres for the types of applications that previously required a specialized NoSQL-only tool. To enable this, the kit is said to expand Postgres capabilities for handling document databases with Read more…

Data Startup Targets Machine Learning for Healthcare

Aug 27, 2014 |

A medical diagnostic startup is attempting to use recent advances in machine learning as a way to make it easier for doctors to sort through medical information in the form of images, unstructured data like notes on a patient’s history and structured laboratory test results. “Medical diagnostics is, at its heart, a data problem,” notes Jeremy Howard, founder and CEO of Enlitic, a San Francisco-based startup that wants to use machine-learning technology to transform diagnostic healthcare. “Recent applied machine learning Read more…

Poll: SAS Use Surges for Data Mining

Aug 26, 2014 |

A recent poll querying data scientists on which programming and statistics languages they used in 2014 for analytics, data mining and data science found that four main languages dominated. The data mining community web site KDnuggets reported earlier this month that respondents identified R, Python, SAS and SQL (in that order) as a preferred programming language. Fully 91 percent of respondents used one of the four languages. The R programming language led the way, cited by 49 percent of respondents Read more…

Performance Analytics Tackles Sports Injuries

Aug 25, 2014 |

In the human demolition derby known as the National Football League, season-ending, often career-threatening, injuries are already piling up like lineman on a loose football. And it’s only preseason! An injury to a star player—the St. Louis Rams lost their starting quarterback Sam Bradford to his second torn ACL in as many years over the weekend—can ruin a team’s season before it begins. That translates into empty seats in stadiums, lost revenues from missing the playoffs and potentially years of Read more…

Gauging Human Emotions at the Stroke of a Key

Aug 22, 2014 |

Indian researchers using text pattern analysis and “keystroke dynamics” claim they have designed a computer program that can accurately recognize a computer user’s emotions. “Depending on the emotion,” the researchers claimed, they accurately recognized and “emotional states” most of the time, indeed with great precision: 87 percent. Writing in the journal Behavior & Information Technology, a team of Indian researchers asked volunteer typists to note their emotional state after typing “fixed” text along with prescribed intervals of regular computer use. Read more…

Selfies Spawn Photo Analytics

Aug 21, 2014 |

An estimated 1.8 billion photos are shared on social media each day. Current “social listening tools” can’t analyze all this data. Enter Ditto Labs Inc., which touts its proprietary “visual recognition engine” that locates brand names in social media posts, then turns the information over to marketing geniuses. It’s the brave new world of “photo analytics,” according to Ditto, that uses its recognition engine to scan photos for corporate logos that might hint at how consumers “interact” with products and Read more…

Automakers Embrace Predictive Analytics to Boost Sales

Aug 20, 2014 |

The use of predictive analytics to discern consumer preferences is expanding to car dealerships where manufacturers led by Ford Motor Co. are trying to convince local dealers that big data can help them reduce the number of days cars sit unsold on their lots. While some dealers are resisting new analytical tools like Ford’s Smart Inventory Management System rolled out in 2009, industry analysts recently told the publication Automotive News that predictive analytics could help save dealerships $100 or more Read more…

U.S. Enlists Big Data to Fight Securities Fraud

Aug 19, 2014 |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moved to reform its enforcement practices after missing the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme and other financial fraud by creating an Office of Market Intelligence in 2010. The office was intended to make use of new intelligence tools like big data analysis to improve securities enforcement. So far, the results of the SEC efforts have been mixed, according to the author of a recent law review article focusing on how the office has leveraged Read more…

From Data Wrangling to Data Harmony

Aug 18, 2014 |

More and better automation tools such as machine-learning technologies are needed to free data scientists from mundane “data-wrangling” chores. Those tools would allow scientists to focus on gleaning insights from prepared data, a range of experts told the New York Times in a recent survey of the state of big data. The newspaper reported that data scientists spend from 50 percent to 80 percent of their time organizing data, or “data janitor work,” before they could begin sifting through it Read more…

Databases Used to Trace Western Migrations

Aug 15, 2014 |

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas used three databases of “notable individuals” over the last 2,000 years to trace western migration patterns. While Rome remained the cultural center of the European continent through the early Middle Ages, the researchers also found that Paris, locations in what is now the Netherlands and northern Italy were among the emerging cities that attracted European intellectuals and those elites who’s birth and death records made it into the databases. According to the Read more…